PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Wednesday brought a wreath laying ceremony and a service to Pierre, as part of the annual South Dakota Law Enforcement Memorial event. A ceremony is held each year at the fallen officers’ monument along Capitol Lake and is followed by a memorial service which notes South Dakota officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Several people attended an event to lay a wreath at the memorial-including a large contingent from Rapid City. The two new names on the memorial this year were former Rapid City Police Officers Ryan McCandless and Nick Armstrong, who died after a shootout with a man last year. A short time later, the Madison Avenue Church of Christ was filled with people during a 10:30 a.m. service and Governor Dennis Daugaard was the keynote speaker. He thanked all officers for their work and said that all South Dakotans have safer lives because of law enforcers. He said they create a better South Dakota every day.
South Dakota’s Attorney General Marty Jackley conducted a roll call, naming fallen officers by agency. Flowers were placed in their memory at the front of the church. Jackley said that Wednesday’s events to honor the officers-and their families-is important.
The service also included a performance of the song “Heaven Was Needing a Hero” by Mrs. Blemaster’s class from Washington Elementary School and a showing of the video that included the song “In Memory Of” by Derik Schumacher.
After the service, Pierre Police Chief Bob Grandpre said the annual memorial service provides a chance for members of the law enforcement community to join each other in paying respects to their fellow officers.
Hughes County Sheriff Mike Leidholt said that unfortunately, there have been too many names added in recent years to the law officers’ memorial along Capitol Lake.
Yesterday’s service at the church was attended by a number of law officers from various state agencies, along with officials that included South Dakota’s U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson and Secretary of Corrections Denny Kaemingk.
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